Preclinical Evaluation Demonstrated 100% Protection Against a Lethal Dose of Zika Virus
ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — GeoVax Labs, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing immunotherapies and vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance for Patent Application No. 17/000,768 titled, “Method for Generating a ZIKV Immune Response Utilizing a Recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara Vector Encoding the NS1 Protein.”
“Our novel Zika vaccine candidate, GEO-ZM02, is constructed using our modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector platform. Preclinical studies demonstrated a single dose of GEO-ZM02 provided 100% protection against a lethal dose of Zika virus,” stated GeoVax CEO David Dodd. “Addressing many of the world’s most threatening infectious diseases is part of our vision and corporate priorities for MVA’s applications, which also includes an MVA-based next-generation COVID-19 vaccine currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.”
A pathogen endemic in parts of the world, Zika virus (ZIKV) is linked to an increase in microcephaly in infants and neurodegenerative disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, in adults. The claims to be granted in the patent cover GeoVax’s MVA vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding a ZIKV nonstructural (NS1) protein, of which GEO-ZM02 is designed.
With an outstanding safety record, MVA holds great potential to address the critical unmet need in vaccination of women of childbearing age and newborns against ZIKV. GEO-ZM02 is designed to function through the induction of T cell responses rather than antibodies to eliminate the risk of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE). ADE is a serious side effect observed in flavivirus infections when an individual does not have a fully protective immune response from vaccination or a previous infection which causes a more serious disease if infected.
ZIKV is a member of the Flaviviridae family, which includes other significant pathogens affecting patients worldwide such as dengue fever, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. Public health officials recommend avoiding exposure to ZIKV, delaying pregnancy, and following basic supportive care (fluids, rest, and acetaminophen) after infection.
GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies and vaccines for cancers and many of the world’s most threatening infectious diseases. The company’s lead program in oncology is a novel oncolytic solid tumor gene-directed therapy, Gedeptin®, presently in a multicenter Phase 1/2 clinical trial for advanced head and neck cancers. GeoVax’s lead infectious disease candidate is GEO-CM04S1, a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine targeting high-risk immunocompromised patient populations. Currently in two Phase 2 clinical trials, GEO-CM04S1 is being evaluated as a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised patients such as those suffering from hematologic cancers and other patient populations for whom the current authorized COVID-19 vaccines are insufficient. In addition, GEO-CM04S1 is in a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the vaccine as a more robust, durable COVID-19 booster among healthy patients who previously received the mRNA vaccines. GeoVax has a leadership team who has driven significant value creation across multiple life science companies over the past several decades. For more information, visit our website: www.geovax.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements regarding GeoVax’s business plans. The words “believe,” “look forward to,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “could,” “target,” “potential,” “is likely,” “will,” “expect” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, including whether: GeoVax is able to obtain acceptable results from ongoing or future clinical trials of its investigational products, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines can provoke the desired responses, and those products or vaccines can be used effectively, GeoVax’s viral vector technology adequately amplifies immune responses to cancer antigens, GeoVax can develop and manufacture its immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines with the desired characteristics in a timely manner, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines will be safe for human use, GeoVax’s vaccines will effectively prevent targeted infections in humans, GeoVax’s immuno-oncology products and preventative vaccines will receive regulatory approvals necessary to be licensed and marketed, GeoVax raises required capital to complete development, there is development of competitive products that may be more effective or easier to use than GeoVax’s products, GeoVax will be able to enter into favorable manufacturing and distribution agreements, and other factors, over which GeoVax has no control.
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